Number of arrests made over weekend
by PAMELA SCOTT JOHNSON Staff Writer
RACHEL C. DOVE
WILLIAMSON - Several defendants found themselves on the wrong side of the law this weekend on a veriety of charges, and all were arraigned before Mingo County Magistrate Dee Sidebottom.
On Saturday, West Virginia State Police Senior Trooper C.A. Douglas and Trooper J.D. Matheny were dispatched to the Magnolia Apartments in North Matewan on a domestic disturbance call.
According to the criminal complaint, victim Amanda Combs, wife of defendant Charles Fugate, 31, of Naugatuck, alleged her estranged husband made verbal threats toward her, placing her in fear of bodily injury.
Fugate is also said to have grabbed Combs by her hair as she was trying to get away from him. Combs said to the officers that there had been several occasions in the past when her husband had physically abused her and that she now feared for her life. The victim alleged that the defendant was under the influence of the prescription medication Xanax.
While attempting to place the defendant under arrest on charges of domestic battery and domestic assault, Fugate struggled to free himself from the trooper’s grasp and then refused to stay seated in the cruiser and had to be placed in leg restraints. The defendant continued to yell and threaten the victim during this process. One count of obstructing an officer was added to Fugate’s charges.
Magistrate Sidebottom issued a $5,000 bond for the defendant.
During a WVSP DUI checkpoint on U.S. 119 near the Nolan Street exit Saturday evening, Trooper D.C. Moore placed Harold James Scarberry, 35, of Miller’s Creek, under arrest on charges of providing false information to a trooper and one count of obstruction.
According to information included in Moore’s Complaint, the trooper observed the defendant walking inside the designated check point location. At this time, Moore stated he approached the male and recognized him as a subject who had previously fled the scene of a domestic altercation at a Big Splint residence near Nolan, on which he was the responding officer. As Moore was questioning Scarberry about the fleeing incident, the defendant is said to have begun backing away from the trooper in an attempt to leave the scene, denying that he had been at the Big Splint home.
He was taken into custody and was arraigned before Magistrate Sidebottom who released the defendant on a $2,000 Personal Recognizance bond.
Mingo County Sheriff’s Department Deputy M.J. Miller responded to a domestic disturbance call on Jennies Creek on Saturday, where he found April Pilkins bruised and bleeding after allegedly being assaulted by her boyfriend, Steven Ray Messer, 31, who lives in the same house as the victim.
The victim relayed to the deputy that Messer had punched her several times with his fist, grabbed her, kicked her, held her down in the bed and refused to allow her to leave the residence. Pilkins had numerous bruises to her entire facial area, bruising and contusions to both sides of her ribcage, lacerations to her head and bruising and swelling to both her shoulders and upper arms.
According to court officials and public records available to the public in the Mingo Magistrate and Circuit Clerk offices, this is not the first time Messer has been arrested for domestic abuse and battery. There are numerous such charges, but most were dismissed. Some of the dismissals were per the victim who refused to pursue the charges for reasons that are not known. Others were dismissed without prejudice by the court.
Messer appeared before Magistrate Sidebottom on Saturday on the recent battery charge and was released from custody on a $3,000 Personal Recognizance bond.
Danny Michael Smith, 28, of Rawl, was arrested on Saturday by Deputy Miller on charges of driving without headlights, DUI-second offense and driving on a suspended license for reasons of DUI, also second offense.
The report stated that Deputy Miller observed a 2000 Honda ATV traveling on the roadway in the Merrimac Community. The driver is said to have turned off his headlights, while still driving, when he seen the police cruiser approaching.
Miller conducted a traffic stop and upon making contact with the defendant, detected a strong alcoholic beverage odor coming from his breath. The deputy also observed a white powdery substance inside Smith’s nostril. According to the officer, the defendant admitted that he had been drinking and had “snorted” a couple of pain pills.
A three-part field sobriety test was administered, which Smith was unable to complete. A breathalyzer test was performed, producing results of .083. Upon further investigation, the deputy ran a status check on the defendant’s driver’s license and was advised by dispatch he was driving on a revoked license with one prior conviction for that same offense in 2001, and had another previous DUI conviction in 2006.
The defendant was also found to be listed in the National Crime Information Center computer for warrants issued from the state of Ohio.
Smith was arraigned before Magistrate Sidebottom who set bail at $4,100 on the current charges. He was transported to the Southwestern Regional jail at Holden where he will be held pending the decision of the State of Ohio regarding extradition to face charges there.
Gilbert Police officers, Asst. Chief N. Glanden and Patrolman P. Slone attempted to make a traffic stop Saturday evening on a 1993 Ford Crown Victoria after they observed the vehicle cross the center line several times, and is also said to have ran off the edge of the roadway on County Route 80.
The vehicle allegedly turned onto Venus Street, appearing to the officers that the driver was compliant with the traffic stop, but instead, made a full circle and drove back onto the roadway. The defendant then began to increase his speed in an attempt to outrun the police.
The suspect, later identified as Jay Fields, crashed after losing control of the vehicle in an area of the road that had standing water due to water runoff. Davis and his passenger, Kayla Cook, jumped from the inoperable car and attempted to flee the scene on foot.
Davis slipped and fell into a brush pile where she was apprehended. According to the officers, Cook was yelling for the driver to “run”, and also tried to free herself from the handhold of the officer. Attempts were made to capture Davis, but the officers were unsuccessful. Warrants have been secured for his arrest.
Cook was arraigned by Magistrate Sidebottom on charges of fleeing; no vehicle, and obstructing an officer. The defendant was released after posting a $2,000 Personal Recognizance bond.
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